Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Tenchi character Pioneer does. Matt is my character however and if you would like to use him please obtain my permission first.

A Dream Lost

It wasn't often that Tenchi drank, but today was special, so he swallowed another saucer of sake. He was turning twenty three today and his friends had drug him out to celebrate. It had taken both Narusegawa and Kitsune to persuade him to leave off his current painting and go out for a night on the town. He couldn't believe how fast time had passed since he had returned home from Jurai. Tenchi shrugged giving up to his intenseness of his studies and focusing on his art. He had gotten into the prestigious Tokyo University after graduating from high school. He chocked it up to all the help Washu had given him.

Shortly after starting school he met a kindred spirit in the form of Urashima Keitaro an archeology major and manager of an all girls dormitory. Having lived with six alien women Tenchi could relate, not that he ever told anyone about it. All they knew was that Tenchi was a talented artist whose grandfather was keeper a an old shrine in the mountains. Of course Tenchi had to move to Tokyo to attend school but he spent weekends at home helping at the shrine and continuing his training like he always had. His life went, even if every day wasn't as action packed as they had once been. Still, he had Washu and sometimes Mihoshi to keep him company.

That was only on the weekends though, during the week it was all about class and studying. In his free time Tenchi painted, his love of art flowering into true potential. The few quiet moments he had were spent in front of a canvas, he did landscapes mostly, and his current work was a wide view of the Masaki shrine. Tenchi shook his head wishing he were at home right now working on that very painting, but no, his peace had been shattered by two beautiful women and one confused young man. So here he was in a downtown Tokyo club surrounded by noise, booze, and his own cloud of loneliness.

"Snap out of it Tenchi you're supposed to be having fun," Kitsune admonished from his right with a wink. Tenchi frowned and looked down at the beer in his hand, still mostly full, and tried to come up with an excuse to get out of here. His friends were nice and all, but he wanted to spend the night in peace, not bar hoping. It was his birthday and he could mope if he wanted.

"Sorry Kitsune," Tenchi said half heartedly, "I'm not really in the mood tonight."

"You're never in 'the mood' to do anything," Kitsune shot back slightly miffed, "You need to loosen up and have some fun."

"I guess," Tenchi said without much enthusiasm.

"That's it," the short haired girl declared grabbing Tenchi by the arm and hauling him towards the dance floor where his other too friends were attempting to dance. Keitaro kept trying to not look like he was feeling his date up while Naru swayed to the pumping music. Tenchi had a hard time understanding those two, the attraction between them was obvious, but circumstance always seemed to place Keitaro's hand where it shouldn't be only to be followed by a violent backlash from Naru Narsugawa. And it happened again in that instant, Keitaro clumsily trying to move with his girlfriend when, accidentally, his hand brushed her backside. Wham! The poor victim was sent sprawling across the bar to crash into an empty table.

The dance floor around Naru cleared instantly as the girl stood there her fist still extended a look of pure anger stamped on her face. The music suddenly stopped and Naru blinked a few times before realizing what she had done. Her cheeks reddened in embarrassment as she scratched the back of her head before rushing off the dance floor. The three helped the fallen manager to his feet and under the escort of security stumbled outside into the chill night.

"Well that was a fun now where," The ever excitable Kitsune said rubbing her hands together eagerly.

"I'm out of money," Keitaro admitted shaking his empty wallet as proof, "I guess we'll have to call it a night."

"But it's Tenchi's birthday," Naru whined disheartened, "We have to do something."

"No we," Tenchi was cut off as Urashima confronted his girlfriend.

"If you weren't so violent we wouldn't have gotten thrown out," he argued ignoring Tenchi's protests to go home.

"My fault! If you hadn't groped me in there," Naru said hackles rising, "Tenchi would still be having fun."

"It's ok, I'd just like to go," Again Tenchi was cut off as Urashima spoke up.

"I did no such thing," he yelled back, "You just don't have any self control."

"I lack self control," Naru screamed i his face, "You're the one with the grabby hands."

"Umm guys," Tenchi broke in stepping between them to stop this before anyone, most likely Keitaro, got hurt.

"What," they both yelled simultaneously and then went back to glaring at each other.

"How are we going to get home," Tenchi asked, "We spent all our money."

All three of his companions turned toward the artist mouths agape. They all stared for several seconds before they all began digging through pockets and purses looking for spare change. This ended with them coming up to a grand total of 150 yen. Another argument broke out between Naru and Keitaro only to end with Keitaro becoming airborne while Kitsune and Tenchi sat down on the curb to mope in silence.

Tenchi woke up the next morning with a splitting headache, a sore back, and that awful sake taste in his mouth. They had made it back to Tenchi's apartment around one A.M. only to have Kitsune find Tenchi's one bottle of sake and promptly declare they drink it honor of the evening. Thus the splitting headache and morning breathe from hell. The sore back was from having slept on the couch of his tiny apartment when to his dismay he had found Naru and Keitaro asleep on his bed. Naru at least, as Keitaro was half off the bed with continuing kicks from the dark haired girl assuring that he wouldn't last the night. Tenchi found Kitsune was passed out at the kitchen table a cup still in hand and the blanket he had placed over her shoulders still there from last night. Trying to be quiet Tenchi opened his fridge and cracked open a soda. The biting coldness helped to wake him up and clear his mouth of that taste. He finally got his eyes to open all the way and his sight fixed on the massive clock Washu had given him. It had the time for every zone in the world along with Galaaxy standard and Jurai daily time. His eyes widened as he found Tokyo time.

"Shit," he cursed loudly eliciting a moan from the fox at the table, "I'm late!"

He rushed throw the living room and into his bedroom only to trip over his painting and hit the floor with a resounding crash. This woke Naru who was sprawled across the bed and had been drooling onto Tenchi's pillow when the loud noise woke her. Keitaro was likewise roused from his spot on the floor where he had been desperately clinging to a corner of blanket for himself. Tenchi managed to extract himself only to find his work damaged beyond repair. The painting had taken a knee to the center and the canvas was broken.

"Damn," Tenchi cursed again, the most he had used since trying to don those blasted Jurian robes. He threw the painting aside, and ignoring his guests stripped of his shirt before rummaging in his closet for one that didn't smell as bad. This accomplished he ran past two confused young people scooped up his book bag and was out the door before Kitsune could wave a tired goodbye. Back inside the bedroom Naru and Kietaro looked at each other in confusion before comprehension dawned on them.

"We're late," They both exclaimed at the same time and like their predecessor before them began frantically getting ready. Of course this ended with Keitaro slipping and dragging an unfortunate Naru down with him landing in a most undignified position. Kitsune heard the scream followed by the crash and didn't even lift her head from the table, this happened every morning anyways. As the couple burst out the door slamming it behind them Kitsune did look up and realized she was alone.

"Guess I'll have breakfast," she said pouring the last bit of sake into her cup and gulping it down.

Thank god she wasn't a Tokyo U student or in love. From the looks of it, it was all too painful.

Tenchi spent the morning fighting a hangover all the while cursing Kitsune while his stomach cursed him for not feeding it. His classes rolled by in a drone of monotony, even his art class held on appeal this day. He ate lunch across campus from where he usually ate to avoid Naru and Keitaro blaming this whole day on them. Not that they hadn't tried to make him have fun last night but they just didn't understand. He lived the quiet life now, no more action around every turn. He knew he sounded like an old man when he said that, but after living with, and losing Ryoko he just didn't need it anymore.

Time had soothed his hurt somewhat but now and then something managed to reopen old wounds.

That was why he had decided to move away and go to school instead of commuting. The house just had to many memories, good and bad to wake up to every morning. The first day he woke and realized Sasami wasn't making breakfast almost brought tears to his eyes, it almost broke Noboyuki too. His father wasn't fond of having to cook for himself again. Washu's cooking was passable but she only came out of lab to do it Sunday morning when Tenchi was home. Mostly the scientist kept to herself, Tenchi still wondered shy she had come back to Earth, but he never asked. The two had grown closer over these last five years though. She became a confidant of sorts and helped him with his difficult math and chemistry classes. Strangely their common bond of loving Ryoko had blossomed into genuine friendship with the former pirate gone.

Ryoko, there was that old pain again, welling up inside. He had let her slip through his fingers with out ever realizing how much she meant to him. Now everyone was gone. Mihoshi still came by from time to time, but it wasn't the same. Without the royal sisters, Ryo-Ohki, and one cyan haired pirate the house seemed lonely. Tenchi was lonelier still. Sure he had friends, and school, his father and grandfather, but it was nothing like those hectic times before the coming of the Traveler.

Now there was a thought Tenchi's aching brain didn't need, the image of the tall swordsman. He didn't hate Matt so much as envy him. He was on Jurai with his family living it up. And to think, once Matt had told Tenchi he envied him. How fast things had changed. And now here he was five years later still confused by his feelings but one thing was still clear. He missed both Ayeka and Ryoko.

The week ended peacefully enough with Tenchi heading home for the weekend on Friday night. He was driving home when his van suddenly died. rolling to a stop Tenchi pulled off the side of the rode and got out to see what was wrong with his vehicle when he looked up at the star filled sky. This far out from the city the stars beamed with radiant light and brought his gaze upwards. It was then he noticed a star growing brighter, getting closer. It expanded and changed from red to green as it broke the atmosphere flying past Tenchi causing the trees to bend and sway. A massive block of emerald colored stone came into view and was gone in and instant. Behind him Tenchi heard the engine in the van start up again, lights coming on. He hurried into the vehicle and gave it gas suddenly in a hurry to get home. He had a feeling his life was about to change again.

Author's Note

Here you go as promised I haven't forgotten Tenchi. As a big fan of Love Hina I decided to write them in as Tenchi's friends figuring he and Keitaro would get along. Anyways back to business. This story is set Five years after Midnight and Dream No More so it's going to be the last one I finish. I'm going to ask you if you want to see Dream No More finished or should I give you the run down and allow Tenchi and Ryoko to meet up agian? I'll finish Dream No More anyway but in order no to ruin that story it has to come first and this one might not make as much sense. Give me your opinion in review form.

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Smack54